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Dorian Gray compared to The Elephant Man

At the beginning of The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, Basil paints a portrait of Dorian Gray. Throughout the novel, Dorian is viewed and is treated by the world as art. As art, Dorian is constantly changed by the influences of his different artists. The most influential and main artist of Dorian is Lord Henry. Lord Henry corrupts Dorian into a vain, selfish, arrogant, hedonistic, and cruel man. A similar artist to art relation exists between Mr. Bytes and John Merrick in the Elephant Man. Mr. Bytes runs a carnival freak show and displays John as the Elephant Man. His major deformities attract business. Mr. Bytes changes John by making him feel as though he was a less than human monster and by causing the world to view him as such. John was found and claimed by Mr. Bytes when he was a boy. For his entire life, John has been displayed as a freak by his owner, Mr. Bytes. Just as animals are owned by humans, so is John by Mr. Bytes. This dehumanization of John continues as he is constantly displayed as an animal. As a result of this is, John no longer believes himself a human, but rather an animal. This is clearly seen when Mr. Treves purchases John, again as an animal, from Mr. Bytes. When John is asked to talk, Mr. Bytes answers that he cannot, and later when John is asked by Mr. Treves to talk, privately, he responds, “I am not supposed to talk.” John does not say that he does not speak well, or that he does not know how, but that he is not supposed to talk, because animals do not talk. Even if he is saying that Mr. Bytes does not want him to talk, he has caused John to believe that he should not talk either. Mr. Bytes has convinced John, by years of dehumanization, to believe that he is a monster. He is the artist who makes John think that he is an animal.When the reader first meets Dorian, it is only through a story told by Basil. Basil’s story reveals little, if anything, about Dorian....

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